Recently on a boat trip, while coming across from Sanibel lighthouse to Bowditch Point we were made aware of a small figure waving her arms. The seas had progressed from 1-2 feet to a rougher 2-4 feet with wind. Making our way to the jet ski, we found a young girl on it without any means to restart her watercraft. The reason for that was her Dad with his safety shutoff key had bounced out of the boat and at this point was now lost out of sight.
We assured the girl we would find Dad, we called the coast guard and made way to the area where she last saw him. A sail boat heard our call and spotted Dad in the water, yet they called and said they were unable to retrieve him. We were close to retrieving him when a sea tow craft sped in and single handedly pulled the overly exhausted man over his gunnels.
Afterthoughts- there should be 2 keys in case one passenger falls off, the sailboat should have thrown additional flotation out or a rope and the watercraft renter company shouldn’t have left them out on rough seas.
Fort Myers Beach